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Following on the two town halls they held earlier this month in Yacolt and La Center, the three members of the 18th District’s legislative team will hold another town hall at the Port of Camas-Washougal on Saturday, March 16.

It’ll be the sixth town hall meeting of 2019 for Sen. Ann RiversRep. Brandon Vick andRep. Larry Hoff.

The town hall time and location on the 16th is:

12:30-2 p.m. – Port of Camas-Washougal, 24 S A St, Washougal, WA 98671

Rivers, Vick and Hoff will provide an update on the 2019 session and then take questions from attendees.

Freshman Rep. Larry Hoff has been busy learning the ropes as one of the newest lawmakers, and his bill to create a short form death certificate in Washington state has been unanimously approved by the state House.

Substitute House Bill 1799 would allow state and local registrars to issue a short form death certificate that does not list a decedent’s Social Security number, the names of their parents, or information about the cause and manner of their death. Those who would be able to request a short form include:

  • Specified family members, guardians and representatives;
  • Funeral directors or establishments;
  • A title insurer or title insurance agent handling a transaction involving property in which the decedent held a right, title or interest; and
  • A person who demonstrates that the certified copy is necessary for a determination related to the death, or for the protection of a personal or property right related to the death.
Insurance
AgentJeremiah.com

Contact Your Lawmakers

Residents seeking more information may contact any of the legislators’ offices:

Sen. Ann Rivers
Email: Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov | Phone: (360) 786-7634

Rep. Brandon Vick
Email: Brandon.Vick@leg.wa.gov | Phone: (360) 786-7850

Rep. Larry Hoff
Email: Larry.Hoff@leg.wa.gov | Phone: (360) 786-7812

A bill sponsored by Rep. Larry Hoff to create a short form death certificate in Washington state has been unanimously approved by the state House.

Substitute House Bill 1799 would allow state and local registrars to issue a short form death certificate that does not list a decedent’s Social Security number, the names of their parents, or information about the cause and manner of their death. Those who would be able to request a short form include:

  • Specified family members, guardians and representatives;
  • Funeral directors or establishments;
  • A title insurer or title insurance agent handling a transaction involving property in which the decedent held a right, title or interest; and
  • A person who demonstrates that the certified copy is necessary for a determination related to the death, or for the protection of a personal or property right related to the death.
Law
McKeanSmithLaw.com

According to Lifelock, nearly 800,000 decedents are intentionally targeted in the United States every year by identity thieves. Hoff says a short form death certificate would ensure sensitive personal information is kept out of the public domain, which would help thwart their efforts.

“Unfortunately, identity theft is a lucrative business,” said Hoff, R-Vancouver. “Cybercriminals have no hesitation whatsoever about stealing the personal information of decedents and profiting from it, so we have to fight back. This bill would help us do that by protecting decedents and their loved ones from being targeted. The creation of a short form is the right path forward for our state, and I was glad to see the bill receive unanimous support from my colleagues.”

Substitute House Bill 1799 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

With the city of Seattle, and now some state lawmakers, continuing the push for a local income tax, state Rep. Brandon Vick has again introduced legislation that would prevent local governments from implementing an income tax.

House Bill 1588, with 16 co-sponsors, would prevent local governments from imposing an income tax on an individual’s or household’s income. It is similar to legislation Vick introduced in May of 2017 in response to the cities of Seattle, Olympia and Port Townsend trying to find a way around the local income tax law.

“Once again, this measure clarifies the prohibition on the ability of local governments to impose an income tax,” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “This issue is not going away until we tighten the local income tax statutes even further. Despite many of us believing that current law is clear, Seattle along with the support of legislators in the Puget Sound region are pushing the state Supreme Court to allow an income tax.”

In January, the Washington State Supreme Court declined to take up a lower-court ruling that struck down Seattle’s income tax and instead sent the case to the Court of Appeals. However, the city of Seattle indicated they were not giving up and were taking their arguments to the Court of Appeals.

Since then, several Democrat lawmakers have filed an amicus brief arguing Seattle and cities across Washington state already have the right to impose an income tax.

Town Hall
From left: Representative-elect Larry Hoff, Senator Ann River, and Representative Brandon Vick.

“With local governments and now some lawmakers in Olympia working in favor of an income tax, along with the governor’s push for a capital gains income tax, someone needs to stand up and protect our taxpayers,” said Vick. “Voters in Washington state have repeatedly rejected income tax proposals. Let’s quit ignoring them and pass this bill once and for all.”

Washington state voters have rejected a statewide income tax seven times since the Washington State Supreme Court overturned Initiative 69 in 1933. The latest being in 2010 when the proposed income tax measure failed in all 39 counties with a 64 percent “no” vote.

“The drive to implement local and capital gains income taxes comes at a time when we are seeing record taxpayer revenues come into the state,” said Vick.

Current Washington state law reads “a county, city, or city-county shall not levy a tax on net income.” It is a result of Camas’ Citizen of the Century and former Sen. Hal Zimmerman introducing Senate Bill 4313 in 1984. He drafted the legislation in response to an Attorney’s General (AG) opinion initiated by questions from Clark County. Zimmerman wanted to clear up any doubt created by the AG opinion about city-county government being able to have an income tax.

Vick’s bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee. The Legislature’s 105-day session is scheduled to adjourn on April 28.

Rep. Larry Hoff was sworn in to office Monday as the newest state representative for the 18th Legislative District. He replaces former Rep. Liz Pike, who did not run for reelection.

Hoff, who has lived in Clark County for more than 40 years, recently retired as president and CEO of the $1 billion Fibre Federal Credit Union.

“It is truly humbling to have the opportunity to serve our 18th District communities in this new role as state representative,” said Hoff, R-Vancouver. “I look forward to bringing the voice and perspective of so many of my friends and neighbors to Olympia, and to delivering results on their behalf.”

Hoff has been appointed to three House committees. He will serve as the assistant ranking member of the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee, which considers an array of consumer protection issues, as well as the safety and soundness of state banks and credit unions, the regulation of consumer credit and lending, and the regulation of securities and investments. He will also serve on the House Appropriations Committee, which considers the operating budget, and on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee, which reviews legislation related to industrial insurance, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, family leave, safety and health standards, occupational health, and employment standards.

“Each of these committees plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of Washington state’s economy,” added Hoff. “The actions we take will affect millions of people, so it is my hope that we work together in a bipartisan way to get it right. We know Washingtonians don’t want tax increases, nor do they want unnecessary regulations that stifle economic growth. We should instead be focused on supporting policies this session that keep Washington state competitive, grow jobs, and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The 2019 legislative session began Jan. 14, and is scheduled to run for 105 consecutive days.

Photo by Steven Nelson.

Camas, WA —  State Senator Ann Rivers, Representative Brandon Vick, and Rep-Elect Larry Hoff met with 18th LD constituents Saturday at four separate town hall meetings to answer voter questions ahead of the next legislative session in Olympia.

The 90-minute session started off with introductions to provide voters a sense of the work they will be working on this year. Rivers, a Republican, said she will work as Minority Whip.

Vick, also a Republican, who is entering his fourth term, says “it’ll be an interesting year with 43 Republicans and 57 Democrats, which means I’ll have to figure out how to do my job differently, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be effective.”

He said he’ll be serving on the Finance and Tax Policy committee, and thinks gambling may turn into a major issue this year.

Republican Hoff, 67, who was elected to public office for the first time in November, said he will serve on the Appropriations Committee, which oversees how money is spent.

”We need to be better stewards of that charge,” said Hoff. “I have a passion for small business, and I want to reduce regulations to help small businesses operate more efficiently. I really look forward to starting to work. My calendar has been jammed with 15 minute appointments in Olympia. It’s fun to listen to people in those meetings.”

Mental Health

The session got started with Rivers answering a question about mental health, drug addiction, and rising suicides among the elderly.

“I’m not generally a fan of the governor’s policies, but I am working closely on mental health legislation with Governor Inslee, and I look forward to that. Mental health isn’t sexy, it’s not fun, but it’s really important. Mental health will be the focus of this legislative session, and to fund mental health issues in the schools, and in particular, special education.”

Rivers continued: “It’s about creating housing for those folks who aren’t capable of managing. Our jails are full, and you see they’re housing mentally ill citizens. It’s a very comprehensive plan to provide housing and counseling. If you are very poor in this state you can get services. The rich can, too, but the middle class really can’t. I’m excited what the Governor is putting forward. You will see a ton of activity around mental health.”

Vick said every session has a theme, and this will be about mental health.

 

 

 

 

McCleary Legislation Causes Public School Funding Deficits

Camas resident Aunna Elm had a 12-minute exchange addressing school district funding issues that have stemmed from McCleary.

”I’m a parent and I know you want to put McCleary to rest, but it can’t rest,” said Elm. “I started attending school board meetings this past Fall when I became aware of what the funding issues were during the statewide strikes. I’ve been watching my school board and my administration grapple with the realities of what’s about to hit us, effective immediately. We are using reserves to cover what was lost when this legislation was passed.”

Elm asked the legislators about loss of regionalization funding, the staff funding model, and budget deficits, and what is going to be done to resolve these issues. She also challenged them on why the 18th LD representatives didn’t attend a recent ESD112 education meeting.

”I’m imploring you to do a re-do,” said Elm. “Please come meet with superintendents and come to the table to help us prevent this crisis. McCleary is not a good law. I’m upset it was passed.”

Rivers said the law was designed to create equity over time, but what happened at the end of the session is that it took out the steady ramp-up in funding.

”All of the structure and guidelines that we put in were removed,” said Rivers. “So when that happened it became a big pot of money and all contracts were opened up. That’s where the strikes came from. I hope not to offend any of you, but this big pot of money was like dragging a doughnut through a fat farm. People dove in and they wanted it, and then you had the union reporting a 25 percent increase in pay, which was not truthful. Then other teachers saw that, and they wanted it. It was all based on mis-information. There was never a 25 percent increase, but that became the standard, so all of the structure that would have involved a steady ramp up was removed.”

Rivers said she meets with superintendents on a regular basis.

“The good news is there will be a renewed push for special ed because clearly we have to do that. That’s just morally and legally appropriate,” said Rivers. “I think we are headed toward another McCleary if what the Governor is proposing is adopted by the Legislature, then we will return to the have’s and have-nots for education.”

Town Hall

A Camas resident discusses affordable housing issues in SW Washington.

Property Taxes

Property taxes were also addressed as a result of the McCleary legislation. Rivers said she has “heard from many constituents who can’t afford to live in their homes because of increased property taxes, and I want you to know there will be a 30 percent cut in property taxes coming this year.”

Vick replied: “You have allies on this, as well. We need to do something that’s fair for everybody. We don’t want to see people losing their houses.”

Growth Management Act

Erin Alley, president of a local homeowners association said she has watched the Growth Management Act fail, and discussed the challenges of the Mount Livingston quarry. She asked about what action can be taken legislatively to prevent quarries from being developed. She said it’s a failure of land use planning.

Rivers replied: “GMA is not working, and it’s been a common thread during all our town halls today.”

Carbon Emissions Tax

“Washington is the 4th lowest state in carbon emissions,” said Rivers.  “The last thing we can do is hit the tailpipe, and I’m not in favor of that. We need to incentivize instead of punishing citizens.”

Hoff said he was against the carbon emissions tax because it would have “increased the cost of food and that would have hurt everybody, especially poor people.”

Town Hall

Citizens came to ask questions at Camas City Hall.

Infrastructure and Housing Density

Camas resident Bill Hewitt addressed the I-5 bridge, and housing density.

“Democrats want to increase housing density and it really doesn’t work,” said Hewitt. “When you consider affordable housing please consider the quality of life aspects. We need to encourage an infrastructure to go underground.”

That comment led to a lively debate about light rail, replacing the I-5 bridge, and improving overall infrastructure. Several complained that the U.S. infrastructure has been crumbling, and that not enough is being done to fix it.

Ann Rivers said light rail is old thinking and instead said we should focus on new technologies, like underground tunnels, driverless BRTs, and last mile connectors.

“For the record Clark County has voted light rail down every time it comes to a vote, expect for the little spot in the 49th District in Downtown Vancouver,” said Connie Jo Freeman.

That argument was countered by resident Doug Long.

“I’ve had the privilege of traveling around the world using light rail systems,” said Long.  “Many of our larger cities wouldn’t function without light rail. Light rail is the future. The buses are fine for arterials, but they’re not the best solution.”

Rivers countered.

“The problem with rail is that it’s fixed,” said Rivers. “You need massive density in order to get enough riders to pay for itself. Tri-Met doesn’t pay for itself. People in favor of light rail are also against building tall buildings to house people who would use light rail. It doesn’t make fiscal sense. We just don’t have the population density.”

Hoff said he’s optimistic something can be done to remedy these issues.

“We’ve been talking about solutions for a long time, now we need to act,” said Hoff.

Hoff encouraged citizens to be active and to let their voices be heard.

Town Hall

From left: Representative-elect Larry Hoff, Senator Ann River, and Representative Brandon Vick.

Camas, WA —  Brook Pell, a Republican living in Camas, announced her candidacy today for Clark County Council District 4.

Brook is the Chief Operating Officer for a family owned construction company which builds residential and commercial steel buildings. Prior business experience includes CRE property manager of a diversified capital management firm where she managed a portfolio that consisted of a 340,000 rsf commercial office campus, several retail centers and residential/multi-family properties.

Pell is a Clark County native having grown up in Washougal, and is married to Sascha Pell. They have five children; four in the Camas School District and their oldest is a freshman at Clark College.

Pell’s priorities are policies that attract job creators to Clark County, transportation solutions that are supported by the taxpayers, lean and efficient government, policies that respect the rights of urban and rural land owners, good roads, adequate funding for law enforcement and infrastructure to support growth.

“Clark County is growing and along with that comes the challenge of providing the services that citizens need and want. As a small business owner, I know from experience how decisions made by government can negatively impact the economy or encourage prosperity. When I hear that people are forced to sell their homes due to higher property tax, I know we need a better solution. Focusing on what matters most to the people in Clark County is my pledge to the voters.” said Pell.

To learn more, visit her website at www.electbrookpell.com

The website isn’t yet up and running.

Clark County, WA — This notice is to solicit nominations for individuals who wish to appear before Clark County Republican PCOs to present themselves as candidates for the position of Clark County Council for District 4. Nominees must reside in County Council District 4 and be of the Republican Party.

Self-nominations should include full contact information and a statement that they are of the Republican Party and live within District 4. Nominations that are not self-nominations should include full contact information of the nominee with the attachment of a signed statement from the nominee that he or she agrees to serve if nominated.

The Clark County Auditor has certified the 2018 elections results and Eileen Quiring has been elected to the position of Clark County Council Chair. Ms. Quiring will take office as Clark County Council Chair on January 1, 2019, and at that time, she will vacate her seat as County Councilor for District 4.

Pursuant to Article II, Section 15 of the Washington State Constitution, the Clark County Republican Central Committee is required to nominate three (3) individuals as candidates. Pursuant to the state constitution, all nominees must: 1) reside in County Council District 4; and (2) be of the same political party as Ms. Quiring, namely the Republican Party. Nominations will be voted upon by Clark County Precinct Committee Officers on January 15. The names of the three individuals nominated will then be forwarded to the Clark County Council. Upon receipt of the names of the three nominees, the Clark County Council will review the nominees, conduct interviews in an open public session, and appoint one of the individuals to the office of Clark County Council District 4.

Any person interested in being considered for nomination by the Clark County Republican Party Central Committee must notify Clark County Republican Party Chairman Earl Bowerman in writing, and must be received no later than January 10, 2019 . Email notifications to earl@earlbowerman.com will be accepted and must be received no later than January 10, 2019. All nominations will be acknowledged within 12 hours with further information on the ensuing process; if acknowledgement is not received, notify Chair Bowerman by email. The mailing address of the Clark County Republican Party is P. O. Box 205, Vancouver, WA 98666.

Camas City Councilor Shannon Turk is one of four candidates who recently applied to be the city’s next mayor.

The September resignation of former Mayor Scott Higgins leaves the office vacant, and it will be filled by City Council appointment. Four have applied for the job — City Councilors Melissa Smith and Turk — as well as Georerl Niles, who is Chair of the Camas Parking Commission (a volunteer position), and former Camas Mayor, Dean Dossett.

A 2011 city resolution requires the council to interview them all.

“We have seven on council and so the five remaining council members will decide who becomes the next mayor,”said Camas City Administrator, Pete Capell. “They will interview all the candidates with pre-prepared questions. They will work it out until a candidate has a majority.”

Applications were due Friday, October 26, and the special interview meeting is scheduled for November 14. There will be a public swearing-in at the council meeting on November 19. The new mayor will complete the existing term, and then run again next Fall.

Turk, who has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, was appointed to the council in July 2011 to fill the vacant seat left when Scott Higgins became Mayor. Turk would run on her own in November 2011 to finish the Higgins term, and then ran again in 2013, then again in 2017.

“People call me a four-term councilor,” said Turk. “But it’s really two terms that I’ve been representing Ward 3, Position 2 with Greg Anderson. That’s the area by Dorothy Fox, west of Sierra.”

With seven years of experience on the council, what has Turk learned?

“I’ve learned that even though I knew things take time to happen, they take more time than I anticipated,” said Turk. “It takes time to get good policy passed. I think a good strategic plan may help shorten it. Right now, it feels like the community has varying goals. People are moving in many different directions. The firefighters, the pool, the budget.”

Is there a leadership vacuum?

“There’s a lack of leadership focus, because I think there’s a tendency to respond to every email, to every citizen concern that comes up, but when you do that it’s bad from a comprehensive view. I think it’s more lack of focus. People are sincerely trying to help, but there’s a lot going on. There’s a tendency to take too much on. There are big things going on, but we’re going in many different directions. It’s hard to always resolve everything so quickly.”

Turk says in a small town “it’s easy to get bogged down by multiple initiatives because you have to be all things to everybody. You have to know a little bit about a lot of things.”

Turk said she would start using the city’s strategic plan, and would go further into the community and identify the goals of what people want us to focus on time on.

“Do we need another firefighter station? I really want to know what we need to do. Then we can set our priorities,” Turk said. “With the pool — it’s a funding issue. First we have to decide what we want. I agree with John Spencer, we need to go big or go home. We need a competition pool. We have a need for more sports fields, too. If you build it they will come.

“We have to first get public input and then we have to decide if people are willing to pay for it. How do we get the rest of the people to agree on it, and pay for it. This council is exceptionally good at compromising. They always find a middle point to get things done so everyone gets a little piece of victory.

“I would agree we should have a plan, or an idea of what we should be doing. We also need to have a plan for a firefighter district, or a regional fire authority. It’s essentially a tax for just a fire service. These two things need to happen concurrently.”

Tree

Alicia King addresses the City Council during a public hearing on the Camas Urban Tree Program.

What Are Turk’s Skill Sets?

“Primarily, I’ve worked in government and have done that for 25 years as a budget analyst,” said Turk. “It’s about making recommendations to leadership with full knowledge of the subject. I know this well. I have a way of bringing diverse opinions together and coming to a consensus. I don’t have any problem being yelled at when I know we’re doing the right thing.”

Turk, a mother of two adult children, Emma, 18, and Lanie, 20, touts her volunteer activities as a basketball and cheer coach. Her family makes a point to deliver meals on Thanksgiving, and encourages her daughters to be involved in the community. As an animal lover, she helps out at West Columbia Gorge Animal Shelter.

She’s worked at City of Vancouver for 11 years, and previously worked for Multnomah County, and for the city of Gresham — in budgeting and as a management analyst. Currently, she oversees warehouse and support staff.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow professionally and I’ve learned from them,” said Turk. “If we had a good strategic plan, we could make decisions based on that plan. I feel very comfortable having a full-time job and being the mayor. The employees would feel that empowerment.”

Does The Mayor Position Need Full-Time Attention?

“We have a professional administrator, but the mayor administers the policy the council sets, and the administrator does the day-to-day operation of the city,”said Turk. “My job is very flexible. They have been very accommodating of my schedule. As long as I get my work done, and I account for every minute. It would be stressful, but no more stressful that having to come up with the other things I’ve been doing.”

So, what are her top three reasons for running?

1- Opportunity

“I see so much opportunity in Camas,” Turk said. “There are so many things — the community center/pool, which will drive me for a long time. I want to impact the community so that my kids want to come back here. We need to make changes to affordability. We need to have kids and seniors be able to afford to live here. If we had unlimited resources, we could make sure cost of living here is affordable. This is done through zoning and creating incentives for development to include affordable housing. I want to do this to make the community better.”

2- Professional Growth

“It’s just closely tied to opportunity and having a sense that I left the world better,” Turk said. “I’ve always worked for the councilor-manager form of government, aka ‘weak mayor’ so in a way being a councilor has prepared me as I’ve been exposed to multiple facets of city administration. I’ve learned a lot about policy and administration and the differences.”

3- Legacy Building

“I want to make the world a better place,” said Turk. “I want to build something that will outlive me. It’s about legacy building. I just want to be in the room when it happens. I want to be part of the decision-making. I’d like to get more people engaged in the community and to be more face-to-face. I think we’re also missing civility.”

Day One

Turk said the city has a public relations problem, and as mayor would encourage more face-to-face ward meetings.

“Hazen’s (former city councilor) resignation last year created a distrust,” said Turk. “We just need to become more transparent, and engage the citizens more. Have more meetings where you bring citizens in, and explain what we do. There’s a general distrust of government across the country. We need to explain how we do our work. This needs to be explained to the people. To get to truth is to come up with a plan, decide what it is, and then actually follow through and do it. Stick to the plan, and do what you say you’re going to do.”

Camas City Councilor Melissa Smith is one of four candidates who recently applied to be the city’s next mayor.

The September resignation of former Mayor Scott Higgins leaves the office vacant, and it will be filled by City Council appointment. Four have applied for the job — City Councilors Shannon Turk and Smith — as well as Georerl Niles, who is Chair of the Camas Parking Commission (a volunteer position), and former Camas Mayor, Dean Dossett.

A 2011 city resolution requires the council to interview them all.

“We have seven on council and so the five remaining council members will decide who becomes the next mayor,”said Camas City Administrator, Pete Capell. “They will interview all the candidates with pre-prepared questions. They will work it out until a candidate has a majority.”

Applications were due Friday, October 26, and the special interview meeting is scheduled for November 14. There will be a public swearing-in at the council meeting on November 19. The new mayor will complete the existing term, and then run again next Fall.

Smith, who has served on the City Council since 2004, is a retired Purchasing Association Vice President, and has many years of leadership and civic experience. She’s fully committed to spending 40 hours a week to serve as Mill Town’s leader, which she says is crucial. The mayor’s role is generally a part-time position.

Jewelry

www.michaelnutterjewelry.com

“We need a mayor who can commit to 40 hours a week,” said Smith. “The staff is phenomenal, but we’re at a time in our city’s history where we need a full-time mayor. There are so many important issues happening in our growing city.”

So, what are the top three reasons she wants the job?

Life Experience

“For me it’s not a status thing, or a money thing,” said Smith. “$22,000 a year isn’t much. I have a lot life lessons. I have traveled extensively throughout the United Sates with my job and personal life. I’ve been to foreign countries. I have a broad outlook on life. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen real racist things in the South, and I’ve been serving the city of Camas for many years. I know how things work.”

Collaboration

“Everyone has 24 hours in a day,” said Smith. “Because of health issues I’ve learned that how you manage your energy is more valuable in the long-run because it makes you more productive, more efficient, more balanced. Energy is more important than time. I’m very much about closing the loop on projects because of the different work experiences I’ve had. From conception to completion, you need to look at the glitches, then analyze them and so you need critical thinking. It’s having the ability to bring the right people together and do the what/if scenarios.”

Building the New Camas Pool

“Earlier this year, my request was if we close the pool by the end of 2018 we should identify the location for a pool,” said Smith. “Everyone agreed, and now it’s morphed into a community center project. I’m very much for a new pool, and I’m very open to the competitive part of swimming. I applaud what they do with football, but there are other sports that need the same support. I think the mill’s R&D property needs more research. We just need to get it done.”

State

Smith says the city needs a new pool — for competitive and recreational purposes.

Day One

“One of the first things I would do, if appointed Mayor is I would sit down with each council member, and ask them what things are working well within the city, and what things aren’t working well in the city,” said Smith. “It could be anything from how we’re being perceived. Then, I would repeat the same thing with the department heads. I would reach out to key business people in the community, and a few others. Then from there, if we could see a general theme of issues, then we go forward. Work on reviewing all the ad-hoc committees. We spend so much energy and time in these committees. There are efficiencies and effectiveness that need to be analyzed. We need to have actual Ward meetings. Bring those back, and just sit and listen. Even though the mayor’s position is a part-time position they still have a commitment to touch in on key issues. I want to get in there and stabilize the city and right the ship with full-time leadership.”

Smith was appointed March 2004 when Paul Dennis became mayor.

“There was a vacancy, and I applied for it,” Smith said.

She stepped down from her executive position, and went into the council role position. In 2005, she was voted in her for her first full term.

“I’ve been on council for 14 years,” said Smith. “It’s way more complicated than people know. There’s a lot. You have to come in with the mentality of having an open mind, a clean slate and let people share the roles and expectations and learn where to look and study — to gain perspective. It takes a lot in the beginning. There’s a lot of reading, ground work, and you have to learn to be an effective councilor.”

With two city councilors running, one will definitely lose, so will there be bad blood on the council?

“Shannon and I have talked, and when I made the announcement about seeking this position, we met and spoke for two hours or so,” said Smith. “We’re good. This could either be curse or a blessing either way, for either of us. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. That person has to be accessible to give that sense of stability. Now I want to be on the other side. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll still be on council for three more years.”

Vancouver, WA — According to early election results, local Republicans will maintain power with wins in many key races, from the 3rd Congressional district to state and local seats. The race for Clark County Council Chair, however, is led by Democrat Eric K. Holt, who currently holds a 1,200 lead over Republican Eileen Quiring.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, with 52.2 percent, is likely to win her relection bid against Carolyn Long. Herrera Beutler spoke to supporters and volunteers in Vancouver following election returns. Long outspent Herrera Beutler by more than $1 million.

“People know truth when they see it,” said Herrera Beutler. “Just let me say thank you, thank you, we have an awesome team heading to the State Legislature. We have a daunting task ahead but I look forward to this fight and many others alongside you for the people of this region and this country. Thank you so much and God bless.”

Asked what the national results say about the mood of the nation, Herrera Beutler said: “I do feel like folks here in SW Washington want a representative who’s a local representative who focuses on local issues.”

Political newcomer, Larry Hoff, a Republican, is embarking on his second career following 35 years working for credit unions. He will likely serve in the LD 18, Pos. 2 seat which is currently being vacated by Representative Liz Pike.

“I feel great, I’m one-for-one,” said Hoff. “It feels great. It’s a reflection on all the work we did, and all the volunteers. We’re ready to get to work. I’m excited to go to work and be part of solutions, common sense solutions. I learned that you cannot do this alone, and I’m excited about the fact that we had a wonderful team.”

His opponent, Kathy Gillespie, a Democrat, is losing her second bid for this seat. It was a tough night for her.

“I feel grateful to all of our supporters and the people who worked for the campaign these past 15 minutes who demonstrated their support,” said Gillespie. “I think sometimes progress comes slower than we want to see it come. Certainly, I would have preferred to see a different vote total tonight, but we’re proud of the work that we’ve done.”

Election

Eric K. Holt holds a slight lead over opponent, Eileen Quiring.

State Representative Brandon Vick, LD 18, Pos. 1, a Republican, handily won his seat and said he looks forward to working on the next budget.

”We have a lot of work to do on McCleary,” said Vick. “And we promised voters we’d lower their property taxes.”

Eric K. Holt holds a 1,200 point lead, and he was cautiously optimistic at the Democrat event.

”What this is telling me is that we’re still really a divided country and that we need to do a lot of healing,” said Holt. “I will bring us back together as a county, as a country so we can work together as Americans.”

Temple Lentz, a Democrat, is handily winning her race for Clark County Council.

State Rep. Vicki Kraft, 17th LD holds a slight lead over Tanisha Harris. Clark County Assessor, Peter Van Nortwick, handily won his reelection, as did State Rep. Paul Harris, also a Republican.

“I feel grateful we’re in the winning position,” said Kraft. “We are up by 500 votes, which is exactly where we were in 2016, and we just continued to trend up, so I’m really thankful for the support …”

Stay tuned for updates on these close races.